Sara Mead, Principal, Bellwether Education Partners, and Fellow, Education Sector, leads a discussion with Leticia Barr, Founder, Tech Savvy Mama blog and Columnist, Parents.com, David Pinder, Principal, McKinley Technology High School, Josephine Bias Robinson, Chief, Office of Family and Public Engagement, D.C. Public Schools, Kate Selkirk, Master Teacher, Quest to Learn, about how to implement an innovative school system.
Leticia Barr is a DC Metro area dwelling mom of two elementary aged children with a background in classroom technology integration and school administration who uses everything she learned from teaching children, teachers, and principals as a professional blogger, social media strategist, and freelance writer.
Leticia founded TechSavvyMama.com, a site that assists parents in finding the best technology products, websites, and resources for children of all ages, from personal experience of bringing a computer into her home for her daughter. She uses her experience selecting software and online resources for one of the top 15 largest school systems in the country, knowledge about issues concerning screen time and children, and ability to evaluate educational sites to assess new products and services. Leticia also loves sharing honest feedback with her large community of faithful readers.
Leticia relies on personal experience from blogging and her background in education to branch out to consulting, professional blogging, and freelance writing. She provides social media consulting to companies looking to create blog ambassador programs and campaigns and has worked with companies such as PBS Teachers, Location Labs, The Mother Company, Marble Jar, BipperKids, BitDefender, and Comcast. Leticia is also a freelance writer whose work has appeared on Parenting.com, PBS Media Infusion, The Washington Post On Parenting, and Real Simple’s Simply Stated. She’s also the co-founder of a new collaborative technology site called TechMeOver.com and a principal of Splash Creative Media.
Leticia is a seasoned speaker, having spoken at numerous national technology, education, and social media conferences and is someone whose opinion is highly sought after by publications such as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and ABCNews.com.
As an active social media user, Leticia can be found tweeting as @TechSavvyMama or engaging with her readers through her Tech Savvy Mama Facebook page. Leticia enjoys the distinction of having been selected as Parents Magazine Top Tech Blog: Editors’ Choice 2011, Babble’s Top 100 Mom Blogs 2011, and Top 50 Twitter Moms by Babble in 2011.
Josephine Bias Robinson
Josephine Bias Robinson is Chief of the Office of Family and Public Engagement for D.C. Public Schools. This office supports parents and families, fosters community partnerships, spearheads community engagement efforts, and facilitates community forums and other public meetings.
David Pinder believes in empowering educators and students, developing high performing professional learning communities, and implementing strategies that drive incredible student achievement gains.
Since beginning his education career in 1999 as a social studies teacher, he has served as principal, assistant principal, department chair, academy leader and AVID coordinator.
Mr. Pinder’s accomplishments as a principal include: being selected as an Education Champion by New Leaders for New Schools and America Achieves in 2010, 2011, and 2012; acting as an advisor to DCPS for the Mary Jane Patterson Fellowship Program; serving as a Mentor Principal to three New Leaders residents.
Most importantly, as principal of McKinley Technology High School since 2007, Mr. Pinder has transformed McKinley Technology High School into a positive learning environment that prepares students for success in college and in life.
He has led a team of educators toward impressive gains in student achievement in both reading and math. Under his leadership, McKinley students have advanced more than 30% in math proficiency and 20% in reading proficiency as measured by the DC Comprehensive Assessment System (DC CAS).
In 2012, the school reached the coveted 90/90 status: 91% of students scored proficient in reading and 92% scored proficient in math; while 90% of McKinley’s students are minority. Recently, the US Department of Education recognized McKinley Tech as a 2012 National Blue Ribbon School—it is the only public high school in the District of Columbia to receive this honor.
Principal Pinder is also the 2012 DCPS Principal of the Year.
Kate has been teaching in the NYC Department of Education since 2005. Kate comes to Quest from PS 83 in the Bronx where she taught 7th grade Math and Science. In addition to her classroom teaching responsibilities, Kate coached the Math Olympiad team, advised student council and developed a tutoring program to prepare students for the New York specialized high school test. As a mentor to the Student Council for the past 5 years, Kate helped them organize fundraisers for disaster relief as well as community projects with the local police precinct and retirement homes. Kate was a lead teacher at the Summer Science institute at Queens College where she collaborated with organizations such as the New York Hall of Science and the Bronx Zoo to create and implement an engaging summer program for New York City Science educators. During the past two summers, Kate has travelled to Ecuador & Madagascar through an Earthwatch Educator Fellowship to help scientists conduct field research regarding climate change and wildlife conservation. Kate holds a BA in English and American Literature from NYU and a Masters degree in Mathematics Education. She is currently working on a second Masters degree in Science Education. Kate has presented at numerous local conferences and led professional development throughout the city. Energetic and thoughtful, Kate is excited to design innovative and intriguing ways for her students to encounter mathematical phenomena. 8th grade Codeworlds students will learn to persevere when confronted with challenging ideas and problems and find enjoyment in their path to greater math literacy.